TOMS RIVER – The Hunterdon Central High School girls track team came very close to taking the championship, but fell just short at the very end. However, the team was happy to perform well together.
Hunterdon Central placed second in the Group IV girls track championships at the Group I and Group IV championships behind West Windsor-Plainsboro South 39-30 at the Bennett Center in Toms River on Sunday.
“All season long, this is what we have been looking forward to,” said Hunterdon Central’s Kathleen Jeager. “Not only winning as a team, but winning individually to advance, that’s what we came here to do. The pole vaulters, all season long have been amazing and down the line we just worked together to achieve this.”
Sabrina Anderson and Madison Heft of Hunterdon Central placed first and second respectively in the Group IV pole vault with heights of 11-06 and 11-00. The duo gave the Red Devils a huge boost in points.
Jeager helped out by placing second in the Group IV 800 meter with a time of 2:16.56. She also participated in the 4×400 team that could have put the team in the lead, but placed fifth with a time of 4:06.24. Even though they couldn’t pull it out, Jeager was happy for the team’s effort and how they performed.
“I was pretty happy coming in and it was a PR for the open eight. It felt good,” said Jeager. “Coming into the 4×400, we knew that we had to place first or second to have a chance. It was pretty exciting and we’re all hitting out PR’s as a team and that’s all we can ask for.”
Hunterdon Central will get their chance at the Meet of Champions to improve on their times yet again. Jeager has goals in sight for her final season of winter track.
“I want to break 2:16. It’s my senior season and I’ve been working really hard,” said Jeager. “I just felt really good today and Jackie (Jacqueline Berardo)and I always work together. We’ll work together to the very end.”
Three other Red Devils will head to the Meet of Champions. Nicole DeBlasio will compete in the 55 meter dash, Christopher Ganfuss will compete in the 55 meter hurdles and Benjamin Weil will compete in the pole vault.
North Hunterdon’s Samuel Layding just missed taking first in the Group IV 3200 meter, coming in at a time of 9:20.37 behind West Windsor-Plainsboro South’s Nikhil Pulimood, who ran 9:19.52. It was a in the final moments and Layding was very happy to make it to his first Meet of Champions.
“I ran a 12 second PR from what I ran outdoors last year, so it’s really exciting to be continually improving like this and it’s exciting to also finally qualify for the Meet of Champions,” said Layding.
Layding added, “I just felt good today. The last 600 meters I decided to make a move on Aaron Groff and pull around him on the straightaway. I heard someone say he’s (Pulimood) looking back and you can catch him. I didn’t, but it was still a great effort by both of us. It was a fantastic race.
Eve Glasergreen also placed second in the same in the girls 3200 with a time of 11:01.34 for North Hunterdon.
New Providence will send three performers to the Meet of Champions. Robert Zeto and Megan Friscia each placed sixth in the boys and girls Group I 1600 meter with times of 4:41.14 and 5:17.33 respectively. Julia Wilson will compete in the pole vault after placing 5th at a height of 8-06.
Montgomery’s Hannah Taylor took first in the girls Group IV high jump with a height of 5-08. Selena Thorne of Franklin and Ridge’s Jessica Creedon placed third and fourth with heights of 5-04 and 5-02 respectively.
Brandon Tubby from Hillsborough and Andrew McGowan from Ridge placed fifth and sixth in the Group IV 1600 with times of 4:24.90 and 4:26.50. Ridge’s Will Vogt took fifth place in the Group IV 55 meter dash at 6.72. Ridge’s Abigail Regner took sixth in the 800 at 2:18.33.
Staff Writer Matt Silva: email@example.com